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September 24, 1976 : Vrindavana

Hari Sauri: Srila Prabhupada asked me for my opinion on the new arrangements he has made for the Vrindavana management. "Confidentially, what is your opinion of Harikesha?" I was surprised that he sought my opinion; how could my view of anything be of any possible use to Prabhupada? How could I give advice to my spiritual master? Seeing my hesitancy, Prabhupada reassured me. "No, after all, you have an English brain, and they are good at observing situations. So just consider what can be done here to improve things." I answered that I thought Harikesha would be better situated in the Eastern European program, and I gave two reasons: for his own sake he needs a bigger scale service - his brain is so active he might cause a disturbance in a small project like Vrindavana. And in addition, the Eastern European program was virtually dependent on his personal presence.

Then Prabhupada asked me what I thought about Akshayananda. I told him that he seemed ideal as Prabhupada's secretary. He has the right mentality for this type of service, and in India Srila Prabhupada often needs the assistance of someone who can speak Hindi, both for reading and replying to Hindi letters, as well as for receiving guests. Finally, he asked me about Hansaduta. But he was mostly an unknown quantity to me. Prabhupada listened carefully to what I had to say. He then thanked me and sent me back to rest.

I feel honored that Prabhupada would even consider asking for my opinion. His comment about my having an "English brain" was a revealing insight into his intelligence in seeing how every living entity is offered a particular facility by the laws of nature - a particular birth in a particular place means one gets certain propensities. The English have a good reputation for managerial skills, especially here in India, where they were able to manage 400 million people with just a few thousand men. It seems Prabhupada therefore considered that since I have an English brain, I should be able use it for managerial purposes.

Reference: A Transcendental Diary Volume 4 - Hari Sauri Dasa